Monday, January 24, 2011

Half Square Triangles

I'd be lying if I said I like making half square triangles

Truth is, I can't stand them
But I love you guys, so I made a bunch

And now you get to too

Quick disclaimer before we proceed any further:
I did not make this quilt prior to starting the quilt along. I am making it right along with you. And while I checked and double checked and triple checked all of my math before even thinking about starting, I realized I made a couple of teeny tiny mistakes. 
But everything still works as it should, promise. Girl Scouts honor.
The first mistake I made was not cutting our squares at the "normal" half square triangle size. Usually half square triangles are cut at some multiple of an 1/8" instead of 1/4". And I realized it with enough time to fix it, but not until after I posted the fabric requirements. And if we fixed it, we wouldn't have enough fabric. 

So blame it on the late night and the fact that I had just finished making my 1,543,632,234,875 test square, and my 2 year old was most likely trying to use my sewing machine. I may have been a bit distracted.

We'll just consider this quilt along as not only a quilt along, but a tutorial on how to fix math mistakes too. Ok? Ok. 

Also, if you are using fat quarters, please visit this discussion in the Flickr Group if confused. I used a layer cake and forgot a few extra steps that fat quarter users have to take. I think I've edited the posts enough to clear up confusion.

Now, on to the half square triangles.

First, pick 12 of your print fabrics and separate them from the rest of the pack. These are going to be the ones that are on the outside edge of the quilt and will get cut off. So choose wisely and make sure it's a nice mix of your colors.
Of those 12 prints, remove one of the corresponding 3.5" squares and put them in your scrap bin, this will leave you with one 6" square and one 3.5" square of those 12 prints.

Grab a 3.5" print square and a 3.5" solid square

Draw a line down the middle of your solid on the wrong side of the fabric, like so

Put your squares right sides together and sew a seam 1/4" from the line

Then turn it around and sew another seam 1/4" from the line on the other side

Now you have two seams 1/4" on either side of the line

Line your ruler up on that line you drew

And cut it

Press your blocks open

And snip those tails

Each 3.5" print square doubled with a 3.5" solid square will yield two of these blocks.

Now do this with all of your 3.5" squares. 
When you're done you should have 4 of these for every 6" block, except for the 12 we pulled aside. You'll only have 2 of these for those.

If you feel the urge to re-square your half square triangles, go for it. Just be extra careful not to trim too much. I've worked ahead a little bit and did not re-square mine, but chose to re-square later after my blocks were put together. It worked out just fine.

But I'm a firm believer in slow and steady wins the race  ;)

Ok, get to work, we'll see you back next week.


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